Getting Stressed Out Over Not Losing Weight
I really hope you can help me. I'm just so confused right now.
As it happens I have a treadmill that I love and I run on most days. I do take a break for a day or two a week. I put up a stone weight and I got back into my running. I am not losing a single pound.
I run for three to 3.5 miles a day. I start off at speed of 4.7 and I get it up to 5.5 .
At this stage I am starting to get stressed out over it. I invested in an exercise bike as well and I am starting to use that.
A friend told me I won't lose weight running on the treadmill all I am going to do is burn glycogen.
That I should be walking at a very steep incline and walking fast to burn fat. Is this true?
I am eating pretty healthy. For dinners I eat healthy omlettes and chicken and veg. I have changed things around pretty well. I am getting fed up now though and wondering what is the best thing I should be doing?
Fast walking on big hills or keep at my running? I just don't know any more. Hope you can help.
Answer by Dominique:
Thanks for your questions.
There is a lot of rubbish out there about losing weight.
It's a billion-dollar industry in every Western country, so I am not surprised you get confused.
In reality it is pretty simple and here are the basics:
You need to burn more calories than you consume to lose weight.
That's all. The whole industry summed up in one sentence.... :)
So, there are two simple components to this:
1) How many calories you burn (i.e. via daily activities and exercise).
2) How many calories you consume (i.e. eat, drink etc.)
Running is a very good way to burn more calories, don't let anybody tell you otherwise. Walking with a steep incline is just another way to burn calories.
Just ignore the whole fat burning vs glycogen burning for now. Without wanting to offend anyone, this is basically nonsense.
This has to do with the intensity at which you exercise. When you exercise at lower intensity you burn more fat as a percentage of the calories used. But 30 minutes of lower intensity exercise will make you burn less calories than 30 minutes of higher intensity exercise! In the end it is about the amount of calories you burn.
What many people don't realise is that slower forms of exercise may burn more fat as a proportion of the energy used, but it will make you burn less calories in the same time span. And if you don't burn off the glycogen it turns into fat anyway!
On top of that there is evidence that higher intensity exercise provides a longer lasting boost to your metabolism, i.e. after high intensity exercise you will burn calories faster for a longer period of time.
Anyways, to cut a long story short: your friend is misinformed and you should just do exercise you like to do.
Now, to the other side of the coin: the food you consume. You describe the food you eat as healthy or at least healthier than you used to eat. That's a good start. What you also need to consider is the portion sizes.
A good way to do this is to sign up at a site like myfitnesspal.com. It makes you enter some basic details about yourself and makes you formulate your weight loss goals. Then based on that you get a calorie target for the day.
They ask you to enter all the food you eat on a day and the exercise you do.
I have done it recently as well with my wife and we found it to be very insightful. In the beginning it is a bit of a pain to enter it all.
But after a few days you find out you often eat the same types of food at breakfast, lunch and dinner and then you can use simple steps to just copy from a previous day or choose from a list of frequently used foods.
So, it becomes a breeze to fill it in after a few days and if you stick to the calorie targets you have set yourself you will lose weight.
You will probably also find out that some of the food you were eating contained more calories than you imagined!
Give it a try, I am convinced it will help you lose weight and will make you a lot more critical about what you eat and how much you eat.
Best of luck, don't give up.
Recommended page to read:
Running and Weight Loss